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Friday, March 27, 2015

FIPRESCI 90th Anniversary


Ninety years ago, in 1925, some film journalists from Paris and Brussels founded a Professional Association of the Film Press, which only in a bit more than a year became the International Federation of Film Press during the Congress of Cinema held in Paris from September 27 to October 3, 1926. But was until June 1930 that the Federation as we know it was founded. Still the idea of a worldwide film press has 90 years and FIPRESCI is celebrating its anniversary with some activities.

Perhaps the most interesting is the one that has eight (8) master classes by renown filmmakers. Here is the info from a FIPRESCI press release.

An unprecedented parterre de rois, composed of eight great European film directors is about to take the stage of the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, to hold the always long awaited Cinema Master Classes. The lessons will run March 21st to 28th and will be organized by Bari International Film Festival and FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics, that will celebrate in Bari its 90th Anniversary.

The eight Master Classes, each preceded by a film of its "Maestro", will begin with Sir Alan Parker, introduced by film critic Derek Malcolm, who will begin his lesson right after the amazing 1978 movie Midnight Express. It will then be the turn of Jean-Jacques Annaud, who, introduced by Michel Ciment, will begin after the screening of his 1997 movie Seven Years in Tibet. That very same evening at the Petruzzelli there will be the absolute Italian premiere of his latest film Le dernier loup (Wolf Totem).

Greek author Costa-Gavras’ lesson will draw on his 2002 film Amen, and on the controversial relationship between the pontificate of Pius XII and the Nazi Regime. Then it will be the time of a great maestro of the Italian Cinema, Ettore Scola, who will hold his Master Class after the screening of his Una giornata particolare (A special day). The 1977 movie, thanks to which Scola obtained his first Academy Award nomination, will be presented in its restored copy by the National Film Library.

Polish Andrzej Wajda – winner of an Academy Award and a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement – will be introduced by cinema critic Grazyna Torbicka and will deal with his 50 years of film making, starting from one of his latest titles: the striking 2007 Katyn, dealing with the Soviets' crimes in Poland at the inception of World War II.

Introduced by Klaus Eder, another legendary author: German Edgar Reitz – director of Heimat, the longer than 54 hours movie in 30 episodes, which obtained countless prizes over the years and often run on the big screen – will begin his Class from the recently restored Tv series episode Hermännchen.

In 1981, in Venice, Margarethe von Trotta won both the Golden Lion and the FIPRESCI Award with Die bleierne Zeit (The German Sisters); this will be the movie that will spring the discussion with the German film director. On that very same evening and joined by main actress Katja Riemann, von Trotta will present the absolute Italian Première of her last film, The Misplaced World, triumphantly welcomed at the last Berlin Film Festival.

Finally, introduced by French cinema critic Jean Gili, it will be the turn of another great Italian director included in the Cinema Master Classes panel: Nanni Moretti. His “lesson” will be kind of surprising and particular – and it will begin right after the screening of  Caro Diario awarded at 1984 Cannes Film Festival, together with a plethora of other awards.



All film directors will be awarded the FIPRESCI 90 Platinum Award. Nanni Moretti will also receive the “Federico Fellini Platinum Award for Cinematic Excellence”, during the Festival closing Petruzzelli soirée on March 28th.

"Never before, in the world history of film festivals, which I know very well" – as stated by Felice Laudadio, former director of Venice Film Festival and of TaorminaFilmFest, and more than twelve other festivals both in Italy and abroad since 1979 – "a similar group of extraordinary authors was ever reunited in a single place to hold Cinema Classes, one after the other. As a senior journalist, I wish that the mass media, of all kinds, may give this extraordinary event the same attention reserved to events which are surely more, let's say "popular", but far less relevant on both the cultural and cinematic level. And I am not saying it because Bif&st needs more public – for that matter, we wouldn’t know how to accommodate it: last year there were more than 70,000 spectators for 8 days, with an average of 1,200 participants to each cinema lesson at the Petruzzelli; fully sold out, marking a sensational phenomenon – but because this kind of initiatives, if properly reported on newspapers, TV, radio and web, is the only means to fight and defeat the increasing cultural savagery."

A truly remarkable event honoring some great cinema master filmmakers, most notable for me is Nanni Moretti being honored not only by FIPRESCI with a 90 Platinum Award but also by Bari fest with the Federico Fellini Platinum Award for Cinematic Excellence 

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